The Netherlands is a country located north of Belgium and west of Germany and for many people, it is informally known as Holland, which is actually the name of one of its regions. The authorities decided to change it and starting this year, companies, embassies, ministries, and colleges can only refer to the ‘land of tulips’ as the Netherlands.
25 years ago, the tourism industry decided to promote the country as “Holland”, but, as a spokesman for the foreign ministry says, the goal is to present the commerce, science, and politics of the whole country, so “It is a little strange to promote only a small part of the Netherlands abroad, that is, only Holland. We need to start rebranding.”
Behind this change, there’s a whole tourism renewal strategy to put an end to the mass, cheap and air tourism that enters the country, particularly to Amsterdam, which has had an impact on authorities and citizens alike, who have been demanding sustainable and respectful tourism in the city for the past years.
So far the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC) has been using the image of a tulip as an international logo, next to the word ‘Holland’; but starting this year, it will be replaced by two symbols: the “NL” (which stands for the Netherlands) and an orange tulip, the country’s national flower.
The Government estimates that the rebranding will cost about 200,000 euros, but says it is “worth it” because it is about making a renewal to the country so that the “capacity of income abroad is as intelligent and attractive as possible”.
The Minister for Foreign Trade, Sigrid Kaag, said that the new style will show “more clearly” what the Netherlands has to offer to the visitors, whether they are going to live there, work or come just for a holiday.
“It was time to modernize and a transparent international logo is positive for exports and to attract investors and talent. The new logo can be used in high technology, agricultural engineering, sports, and culture. It will be used in all trade missions because it identifies the country,” she said.
The Minister of Economic Affairs, Eric Wiebes, also supported the need to showcase Dutch strengths and recalled that, according to the World Economic Forum, the Netherlands has “the most competitive economy in Europe and the fourth in the world", and often introduces innovative solutions to technical and social challenges.
The official agency expects the number of international visitors to reach 30 million in 2030, which increases “the pressure on the quality of life and the environment” and makes it necessary not only to promote the country but also to “emphasize a broad and sustainable development” of the Netherlands.
1. As part of the new strategy, the Netherlands (NL) will be the official mark of the Eurovision song contest, which takes place in Rotterdam next May.
2. The country's football team, which is often called Holland abroad, will only be called Netherlands (NL) in any official setting.